Well, ringy, dingy, dingy! Bum steer and Bum Deal rang a reader’s O’Bell about the bum move by Magnum’s firm “of counsel” Eric O’Bell – a class action suit filed a few weeks before Magnum sealed his deal with BP.
O’Bell filed Greenfield et al v. BP p.l.c. et al on June 8, 2010 in U.S. Federal Court, Eastern District Louisiana, where the case was assigned to Federal District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt. On the Complaint, O’Bell signed the Complaint on behalf of “The Law Offices of Eric O’Bell…Attorneys for the Plaintiffs”. After finding no documentation for “The Law Offices of Eric O’Bell”, I found Eric J. O’Bell, L.L.C and double-checked the Complaint to be certain the word “Attorneys” appears in the plural. It does.
Also on the Complaint are Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, a New York firm and “Attorneys for the Plaintiffs” and David M. Foster, P.C., of Farmington Hills, Michigan, “Attorneys for Plaintiff Alan R. Higgs” (Complaint in scribd format below)
On the 11th, Magnum told WWL that BP had ordered 32 of the devices he and his partner Kevin Costner were selling for use in the Gulf of Mexico; however, other sources indicate the contract was signed a week or so later.
The obvious conflict between Magnum super-sales job and the class action filed by O’Bell, like the oil spill itself, created a sticky situation – so sticky that I’m stuck trying to figure out exactly what happened. This much I know. On the face of the Complaint, O’Bell is listed as representing the Greenfield plaintiff and as co-counsel for the Higgs plaintiff, represented by New Orleans attorney Eric Nowak of Howell&Nowak L.L.C.
According to the case docket, it appears BP may have been served with the Complaint on or near the day the Company signed the contract to purchase the devices from Magnum and Costner. What I’ve yet to learn is what, if any, significance that might have with various forms of a MOTION to Consolidate Cases and Appointing Alan R. Higgs as Lead Plaintiff and Approving His Selection of Lead and Liaison Counsel that began appearing on the docket on the 20th of July. (Motion and Exhibits in scribd format below)
This declaration is submitted in support of Higgs’ motion, pursuant to Rule 42(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Section 21D(a)(3)(B) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, for consolidation, appointment as Lead Plaintiff and approval of its selection of the law firm of Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling LLP (“Zwerling, Schachter”) as Lead Counsel and O’Bell as Liaison Counsel in the above-captioned actions.
O’Bell’s Declaration references Exhibit E, his firm’s resume with his professional experience listed as:
Member, Eric J. O’Bell, L.L.C., 2004 – present
Special Counsel, Gauthier, Houghtaling, & Williams, L.L.P., 2005 – present
Associate, Calvin C. Fayard, Jr., A.P.L.C., 1993-2003
In early September, Greenfield et al v. BP p.l.c. et al was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Texas. Since I’m not an attorney, I can only guess that this somehow accounts for O’Bell showing as the Attorney for Higgs in another Southern District Texas case, Johnson Investment Counsel Inc v. BP PLC, et al.
Everything about Magnum and oil seems to be sticky, does it not? He also seems to be stuck on O’Bell for cover, if my memory of O’Dell as the Notary on Magnum’s recent donation to the preservation of the New Orleans landmarks is correct.
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